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Everything in August 2015 issue

Jonathan Edwards for the Church

Review

August 2015

Jonathan Edwards for the Church

Jonathan Edwards for the Church William Schweitzer (Editor) EP Books 310, £12.99 ISBN: 978-1-78397-116-9 Star Rating: 0 Jonathan Edwards has long been recognised as a towering intellectual genius. His works have attracted the attention in the worlds of philosophy and academic theology. But Edwards was above all else a pastor and preacher of the…

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News

August 2015
News

Persecution Turkey – Armenians returning to roots

Armenian Turks are now publicly declaring their decision to convert to Christianity, a century after their ancestors were forced to convert to Islam or face execution.  Descendants of Turkey’s Christian minorities, who became Muslims during the Armenian genocide, are seeking to return to the Christianity of their grandparents and great-grandparents and being baptised as…

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News

August 2015
News

Skye open-air witness

The Free Church (Continuing) presbytery of Skye and Lochcarron started up its summer season of open-air preaching and tract distribution in Portree Square, at the end of May. Before the mission activity started, there was a prayer meeting at 2.30pm, when those engaged in prayer sought the Spirit of the Lord to go before…

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News

August 2015
News

Anti-extremism orders

The government’s planned anti-extremism orders are a legal and religious ‘disaster area’, Rev. Mike Ovey has warned. Dr Ovey, a former parliamentary draftsman and lecturer at Oak Hill Theological College, said planned anti-extremism orders are a ‘disaster area’, both legally and from a religious perspective. He made the comments to the Daily Telegraph on…

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Article

August 2015
Germany

Berlin church plant

It is apparent that Western Europe is still a mission field in 2015. Nations that would have once boasted full churches and many believers have drifted far from the truth of the gospel. Aware of this need, the church planting committee of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales (EPCEW) was in much…

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News

August 2015
News

Church planting in Newmilns, Scotland

On 19 June, a service was arranged by the Free Presbytery of Glasgow and Argyll to welcome Covenant Church, Newmilns, into the Free Church of Scotland (FCoS). A congregation of more than 150 joined in worship led by Rev. Dr David Ford, moderator of presbytery, in Morton Hall, the current venue for the congregation since…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Guest column

Once upon a time!

I have a confession to make. There was a time in my Christian life when I did not read Evangelical Times!  I know this is a shocking admission. But please don’t turn the page in horror, or send a strongly worded letter to the editor. As you can see, things have changed. My ‘pre-enlightenment’…

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News

August 2015
News

Northern Ireland and abortion

Disabled unborn babies would have no rights, if a legal case seeking to weaken abortion law in Northern Ireland is upheld, the Belfast High Court has heard. Judge Mark Horner reserved judgment in the contentious case, which is currently being brought by the taxpayer-funded Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC). The NIHRC is arguing for…

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News

August 2015
News

Letter from America – Remember the sabbath day

‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days you shall labour, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock,…

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News

August 2015
News

Controversial sermon

A preacher in Northern Ireland, who was taken to court last year over comments he made in a sermon about Islam, could face six months in jail.  Last March, James McConnell, aged 78, the minister of Belfast’s Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, preached a sermon in which he called Islam ‘satanic’. He said, ‘People say there…

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Article

August 2015
Obituaries

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)

The widow of missionary Jim Elliot, who was killed by Auca Indians in 1956, has died at 88 after a battle with dementia. Yet her story of mission and perseverance will live on. If one thinks of Christian women of influence, Elisabeth Elliot, the widow of missionary martyr Jim Elliot, certainly comes to mind.…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A light in the dark

Darkness and light, or night and day, are themes that accompany us throughout our earthly existence. Every day, we experience the contrast between a dark night and a hopefully sunny day. During the day, we might voluntarily enter a dark place. The caver enjoys the challenges of exploring underground, but he is always glad to…

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News

August 2015
News

Persecution in Pakistan – Family attacked

A Christian family had their faces painted black, their heads shaved and a garland of shoes placed around their necks, before being paraded through a village following blasphemy accusations. According to a statement from the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), the attack was prompted when Kaneez Asghar, the Muslim wife of…

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News

August 2015
News

Assisted suicide

Four out of every five deaths by medical euthanasia in Belgium were not discussed with the patients beforehand, the Journal of medical ethics has warned. In a statement from the Pilgrims’ Friend Society, written by Louise Morse, this occurred because the patients were either in a coma diagnosed with dementia or because doctors decided…

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News

August 2015
News > Youth Features

Greenfield Camps: the gospel down on the farm

At the start of each year, one question echoes round Harrogate, Ripon and York, ‘When is Greenfield?’ For many young people, aged 7-14, Greenfield Bible Camps are the highlight of their year, returning again and again each May. This spring bank holiday, despite the mud washout of last year, 106 children and 50 leaders…

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Article

August 2015
Obituaries

Clifford Pond 1924–2015

It is not often that someone gets to shape the work of Grace Baptist Mission (GBM) through its council and then serves as a missionary, but that was true of Clifford Pond.  Born in Cambridge and growing up in Hertfordshire, Clifford left school at 14. He volunteered for the RAF Medical Corps, serving in…

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News

August 2015
News

Counter-terrorism curriculum

A Pakistani Islamic cleric has launched a ‘counter-terrorism’ curriculum to help stop young people becoming radicalised. In a statement from organisation Minhaj-ul Quran International, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri says he wrote the curriculum — in English, Arabic and Urdu — to countermine the extremists’ arguments that they speak in the name of Islam. It was unveiled at…

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News

August 2015
News

Grace Baptist Women’s Association Northern Area conference 2015

The theme of the 2015 Grace Baptist Women’s Association Northern Area conference was ‘Made strong through grace’. Faith Cook led this year’s conference, held at Radcliffe Road Baptist Church, Bury.  The subject was relevant to all Christians as Mrs Cook’s ministry always scratches where Christians itch. She said we should be encouraged when knocked…

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News

August 2015
News

Same-sex marriage in America

More than 100 Christian leaders in the US, including Paul Nyquist, president and chief executive of the Moody Bible Institute and R. Albert Mohler Jr, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, have signed a statement against redefining marriage. In July, the coalition of evangelical leaders assembled by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission…

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News

August 2015
News

Youth Mission – Operation Bible

From Monday 8 June to Friday 12 June, 4Front Theatre and Jubilee International Church in Kidderminster ran a children’s project called ‘Operation Bible: Mission missing Messiah’.  This immersive and interactive experience saw nearly 700 children from eight different primary schools sent back in time to experience Bible-time Jerusalem. Upon arriving at the church, the…

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News

August 2015
News

Brighton open-air ministry

Held in the Brighton Chapel Royal, the photographic exhibition ‘A sideways look’ provided the theme for Open Air Campaigners (OAC) at the Brighton Festival Fringe. This thought-provoking photographic exhibition, with text created by Marten Holmes, helps contemporary audiences re-think spiritual issues. David Biggs, Vicar of the Chapel Royal, welcomed visitors and team members alike with…

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News

August 2015
News

Benefits claimants

Think-tanks Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform have published an open letter to Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The letter, from active Catholics and people brought up in the Catholic faith, is deeply critical of the government’s treatment of vulnerable and disabled people. Written ahead of the emergency…

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News

August 2015
News

Church of England academy

Bishop of Jarrow Rt Rev. Mark Bryant formally opened and dedicated a new £12.8m building for the Ian Ramsey Church of England (CofE) Academy. This is the first secondary school project under the government’s ‘Priority Schools Building Programme’. The ceremony was attended by representatives from the diocese of Durham, Stockton Council and the Department…

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Historical

August 2015
Articles > Historical

Anne Boleyn

The public fascination with the Tudor period continues unabated, and Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, features in many books and television programmes today. However, much of what is portrayed and written there only loosely touches base with the facts. Many appraisals perpetuate the myth that Anne Boleyn was an immoral woman who…

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Article

August 2015
Scientific (including creation)

Personal view: Why I disagree with the Genesis Gap Theory

Some years ago, I was asked to examine the theory that there is a ‘gap’, perhaps as long as several million years, between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.  The result of that study was a small book entitled, The Genesis ‘gap theory’: its credibility and consequences in which I set out my reasons for…

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Article

August 2015
Ethiopia

A visit to Ethiopia

From 5-13 January 2015, Dr Joel Beeke ministered in Ethiopia. This account is written by his wife, Mary. On Monday 5 January, we woke up at 3.00am for our 5.25 flight to Chicago, but our departure was moved to 7.00am. The pilot finally arrived at 7.30am, so we didn’t leave until 8.15am. Consequently, we…

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News

August 2015
News

Conviction of pro-life campaigner overturned

A Northern Irish judge has overturned the conviction for harassment of a prominent pro-life campaigner. Bernadette Smyth, founder of the Precious Life group, was found guilty in November 2014 of harassing the programme director of Northern Ireland’s first Marie Stopes abortion facility. Since the opening of the centre, Ms Smyth had been one of…

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News

August 2015
News

TruthVine at the crossroads

Our Saviour wants his gospel to be heard by the whole world. New technologies, like the internet and smartphones, give us unprecedented means to proclaim it. Many churches have put these tools to work very effectively, but other churches are still wondering, ‘Where do we start?’ TruthVine is an organisation seeking to equip churches…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

The book of Proverbs

‘Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favour…

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News

August 2015
News

Earthquakes

The Bible Society’s Nepalese headquarters has now been declared safe to use and internet and phone communications in have improved, according to Alan Kember. The head of supporter relations for Bible Society said that the team at Bible House continues to ‘work around the clock’, distributing more than 200 plastic sheets and 100 mattresses, as…

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Church planting in Yorkshire

News

August 2015
News

Church planting in Yorkshire

A new initiative to mission Yorkshire is to be launched, later this year. A number of Christians in North and West Yorkshire started to meet in 2014 to discuss church planting.  Yorkshire has a larger population than California, and 35 other states in the US. It is more populous than Ireland, Denmark, New Zealand and…

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Article

August 2015
Obituaries

Joyce Smith 1944–2014

Grace Baptist Mission (GBM) gives thanks for the life of Joyce Smith, who died at the end of last year. In 1977, Joyce and her husband David were sent by Eden Chapel, Cambridge, to serve in Nigeria, in fellowship with GBM.  Her husband described their time in Nigeria: ‘We set sail from Tilbury Docks…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Following the culture? (1)

‘Yo, God is so ill!’, shouted Adam Durso, youth pastor at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens, New York, using a hip-hop term of praise. Hip-hop worship for the hip-hop generation? ‘The only way to make the gospel relevant to them is through hip-hop,’ reports a Chicago youth pastor to the New York Times…

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News

August 2015
News

Black American churches

The burning of Black churches in America’s Southern states is being investigated as a racially motivated hate crime. Over the past few weeks, at least seven African-American churches have been burnt in the southern US. Arson has been implicated in at least three of the blazes, but, according to the BBC, there have been no links…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Preaching indoors and outdoors

1. ‘It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul? Give me one hundred preachers who fear…

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News

August 2015
News

Religion and belief in state-funded schools

There should be significant changes to the way that religion and belief is ‘negotiated’ in state-funded schools in Britain, a new report has claimed. The report, called A new settlement: religion and belief in schools, was written by two organisers of the Westminster Faith Debates and calls for a measure of changes, including removing compulsory…

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Article

August 2015
Poland

Creation ministry in Poland 2015

Since Biblical Creation Ministries (BCM) was established in 2002, I’ve had the privilege to visit Poland on many occasions. These have given me the opportunity to speak alongside many other creationists, including Drs John Peet, Geoff Barnard, Sylvia Baker and Werner Gitt. I’ve just returned from my latest trip, where I was speaking alongside Professors…

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News

August 2015
News

United Christian Broadcasters

United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) has launched a new app that will allow users to listen to and watch all of UCB’s radio and TV channels, both live and with seven days’ worth of catch-up and on-demand. UCB Player is available online and on all portable net-connected devices, including Android, Kindle Fire and iOS. In addition,…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > World Mission

Online vision in – Focus

‘I’ve been brought up in a Christian family. Recently I’ve started asking myself questions which I can’t find an answer to, and have been feeling more agnostic. I’d like to thank you very much for your videos. They helped me a lot’. These are the words of a young man who had watched some…

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News

August 2015
News

Church planting – Globe Church, Southwark

On Monday 15 June, about 120 people gathered in Southwark, London, to mark the opening of a new evangelical church in a very needy area. Globe Church, pastored by Jonty Allcock, has been planted in partnership between the capital’s Co-Mission network of evangelical churches, headed by Richard Coekin, and several churches who are members of…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Comment

Is homosexuality inherited or chosen?

‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The Supreme Court of the United States…

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News

August 2015
News

Neo-Nazi rally in London

A neo-Nazi rally in July in London saw more people turn out in opposition than support, according to the Independent. A handful of right-wingers, who were rallying to drive out Jews from London, appeared, waving the Confederate Flag, to be met by a strong crowd standing up for London’s Jewish community. Steve Clifford, general…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Pursuing holiness

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘holy’? A person in a monastery? Someone with a halo around their head? A prophet dressed in sackcloth? Whatever our idea, we probably think of ‘holiness’ as something out of the ordinary. That corresponds, at least a little, with the biblical idea of holiness, which…

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Historical

August 2015
Articles > Historical

‘Walking in good works’ – the Sarah Martin story

The old tollhouse in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was for many years the town gaol. During the 1790s, prison inspector John Howard condemned it as the most defective in the entire country. But it was to be radically and single-handedly transformed by a poor dressmaker named Sarah Martin. Her story is one of compassion, courage and Christian conviction. Sarah…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Praying well

Christians serious about prayer desire to pray in a way that brings assurance to the soul and receives answers from God. The child’s song says — and the Christian Scriptures teach — that ‘the prayers go up and the blessings come down’. How important prayer is to the life of believers and churches! It remains true…

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Article

August 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Have we lost holiness in student ministry?

Can you imagine the impact upon a Reformed Christian minister, when students in his church begin to complain about worldliness among Christians on university campuses? There must be a real problem, when people aged 18-22 years old begin to dissent at such a mixture of Christianity and worldliness. In recent years this has been…

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News

August 2015
News

Champions Arise

A new radio ministry has launched called Champions Arise, which will help men who struggle in their walk with the Lord. According to a statement from Champions Arise, of every ten men in the church, nine will have children who leave the church, five will have problems with pornography and four will get divorced.…

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Review

August 2015

‘For their rock is not as our rock’

This excellent book (published under the Apollos imprint) begins with an autographical chapter, ‘in the spirit and on the shoulders of J. H. Bavinck’. This is followed by a copy of a speech from Max Muller, delivered before the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1901, the gist of which is that other religions…

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Review

August 2015
Reviews > Book

The Works of John Knox – Vol 1-6

‘Few individuals in history have had their names so closely linked to the history of their nation, as John Knox’s name is inextricably linked to his native country. Scotland is still often described as “The land of John Knox”.’ This introductory statement from the inside sleeve reveals the great need to republish the Works…

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Review

August 2015

Bound for the Promised Land (NSBT)

This book (Apollos imprint) shows the Bible’s amazing unity and excites the reader concerning the way in which God fulfils his purposes. The ‘land promise’ to Abraham has induced bizarre interpretations over the centuries. While dispensationalists emphasise the literal land of Canaan, non-dispensationalists tend to spiritualise the land theme. This book is a sane…

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Review

August 2015

The Song of Songs (Tyndale OT Comm)

This useful book is published in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series. The contributors to this series maintain that, ‘The Old Testament remains the Word of God for us today’. The Bible is examined section by section and explained under three headings, context, comment and meaning. Iain Duguid is Professor of Biblical and Religious…

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Review

August 2015

Atheism – what everyone needs to know

Michael Ruse is a well known philosopher, currently at Florida State University. He writes that his book is ‘one that tries to lay out dispassionately the issues surrounding atheism, the arguments against it and the arguments for it, its critics and its supporters’ (p.4).  He writes as an atheist, yet claims that he is…

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Review

August 2015

Teaching of the Torah

Beware of the title! This book is essentially identical to the NIV first-century study Bible, albeit containing only the first five books of Scripture. The full NIV translation of the Pentateuch is included, along with a page-by-page commentary. Other features common to study Bibles are included, such as maps, charts and individual book introductions.…

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Review

August 2015

NIV First-Century Study Bible

The market for study Bibles is a crowded one, but this is a unique entry. Its subheading is ‘Explore Scripture in its Jewish and early Christian context’. The general editor, Kent Dobson, spent years studying in Jerusalem (he now pastors a church in Michigan) and seems well qualified to offer such insight. Features common…

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Review

August 2015

The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen

In just 140 pages, John Owen is presented in a dynamic and readable way by Sinclair Ferguson. What more could you want? This volume comes in an attractive, hard-backed, pocket format. Subject and Bible reference indexes, as well as a short bibliography, are also included. For those daunted by the length of Owen’s work…

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Review

August 2015
Reviews > Book

Amy Carmichael – Beauty for Ashes

This is a brief, heart-warming and balanced biography of a great woman of God. Her enormous love and firm resolve remain an inspiration to the church worldwide.  Even before reaching India Amy demonstrated her resolve to serve Christ on the mission field by refusing to give in after a severe bout of neuralgia at…

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Review

August 2015

Confident – why we can trust the bible

This short but readable book aims to do exactly what it says ‘on the can’: help believers to be confident in God’s Word, the Bible. A chief benefit of this, the two writers rightly say, will be to help us share its message with those around us. The book is divided into two distinct…

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Review

August 2015

Christ, the Cross and the Concrete Jungle

It might have been expected that this young man would spend much of his adult life behind bars. Instead he encountered Christ and his life was transformed. Violence, domestic abuse and alcohol were the norm in his dysfunctional family life. He lived in an area witnessing poverty, unemployment, street fighting, suicide, crime and widespread…

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